Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Keyboard Festival to trace evolution from harpsichord through fortepiano to modern Steinway

From page A9 | April 29, 2014 |


UC Davis faculty harpsichordist Phebe Craig will take part in the Keyboard Festival at the Mondavi Center between May 1-5. Courtesy photo

Keyboard instruments have changed a lot over the past few centuries, and the UC Davis music department’s upcoming Keyboard Festival — with five events at the Mondavi Center between May 1 and 5 — will feature their evolution.

Showcased will be harpsichords, chamber instruments of the sort that were common during the early 1700s, when J.S. Bach was composing; a fortepiano, the instrument of choice during the career of Mozart in the late 1700s, and Beethoven in the early 1800s; and the larger, louder modern piano, created in the late 1800s, and sturdy enough to withstand the onslaught of a performance by a powerful virtuoso like Franz Liszt, with a sound big enough to fill a concert hall with more than 1,000 seats.

It will be a somewhat larger festival than the music department has put on in the past for other instruments. As faculty composer (and violist) Kurt Rohde put it, “Two years ago we talked about doing a Keyboard Festival, and it’s a little more involved than doing a Viola or Flute Festival, because there’s so much keyboard music, over so many decades. So it’s a more substantial series, over four days, with more artists.”

The series will start Thursday, May 1, with a free noontime concert in Jackson Hall, featuring members of the UCD Baroque Ensemble and the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble performing concertos for two harpsichords and four harpsichords by J.S. Bach.

The series continues Friday, May 2, at 7 p.m. with more chamber music, with UCD faculty harpsichordist Phebe Craig, Mills College fortepianist Belle Bulwinkle and early keyboard specialist Katherine Westine performing works by German Baroque composers J.S. Bach and his son W.F. Bach, French Baroque composers Francois Couperin and Jean-Philippe Rameau, and Classical era composers associated with Vienna like W.A. Mozart (a sonata for piano and violin), Josef Haydn (a fantasia), and Ludwig van Beethoven.

This program will give listeners an opportunity to compare the plucked-string sound of Italian-style harpsichord (“full of pizzazz,” as Craig put it) with the “smoother” French instruments, including the smaller-style harpsichord that existed in Couperin’s time, and the larger instrument that came later during Rameau’s day.

The fortepiano, which had hammers that hit the strings, created a new realm of musical possibilities that were explored by Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. Tickets are $12-$17 general, $8 for students.

Then on Saturday, May 3, at 7 p.m., the UCD Symphony Orchestra will premiere a new piano concerto by Swedish-born composer Mika Pelo, a member of the UCD music faculty, in Jackson Hall, performed by Bay Area pianist Eric Zivian.

Although not formally part of the Keyboard Festival, this concert certainly complements the festival theme. Tickets are $12-$17 general, $8 for students.

On Sunday, May 4, at noon, professor and musicologist Carol Hess will be joined by Belle Bulwinkle and Phebe Craig in a discussion of “the great evolution of keyboard instruments” that took place in the 18th century, as the fortepiano developed into an instrument that could play both loud and soft, and the “significant changes in keyboard technique” that resulted.

After the discussion, guests can inspect (and even gently play a few notes on) several harpsichords, a clavichord and a fortepiano that will be on display.

“It will be like the family tree of keyboard instruments,” Craig said. “But even though the instruments may look somewhat similar, there is a gulf between them.”

This is a free event.

At 3 p.m. Sunday, May 4, there will be a free recital in the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre featuring faculty pianists Lois Brandwynne, Michael Seth Orland and Marilyn Swan, who will take turns performing a variety of works by Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy, Messiaen, Rachmaninoff and more, which were composed with the more modern versions of the piano in mind.

Then the festival will conclude that evening at 7 p.m. with a recital on fortepiano and piano by Eric Zivian. The program includes several short works composed for fortepiano by Muzio Clementi, Mozart and Beethoven (the Sonata in C Major No. 2, with Zivian and cellist Tanya Tomkins), performed on a copy of a 1795 instrument.

Then Zivian will move to a modern Steinway, and perform short works by UCD faculty composers Christian Baldini and Kurt Rohde, works by French Impressionist composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, and other works. Tickets are $12-$17 general, $8 for students.










County supervisors receive positive report on Laura’s Law

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

Fix it yourself, with a little help, at Bike Forth

By Bob Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

New chemistry building in the works at UCD

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

Bob Dunning: Squeezed by the math on conservation

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

Big Day of Giving surpasses $5 million goal

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

California regulators approve unprecedented water cutbacks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Kids get a peek at the great outdoors

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

BeerFest expands to include cider

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Heidrick Ag History Center rebranded as California Agriculture Museum

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

May 11 talk focuses on clean water

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

‘From Age-ing to Sage-ing’ guides library group

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Crossing lines, on ‘Davisville’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

’12 Angry Men’ will screen Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Pet Food Express organizes Save a Kitten fundraiser

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Round up at the registers for Davis schools

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6Comments are off for this post

Retirees to hear about Woodland’s shade tree campaign

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

Origami lovers will meet at library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

Breast cancer treatment update offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

Earth-centered author comes to Avid Reader

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

MIND Institute lecture will focus on prenatal exposure to insecticide

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Pence Gallery: We’re overflowing with gratitude

By Natalie Nelson | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Health care documentary will screen at meeting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Who is Ralph Hexter? Chancellor’s No. 2 fills us in

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A10 | Gallery



Injection wells endanger our aquifers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

New book flows with good news about water

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Living with this for 30 years

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5



Aggies go flat in 7-1 Sacramento State win at Raley

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils crush Edison to earn McClatchy rematch

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Blue Devils grind out a victory over Oak Ridge

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Davis boys dominate first playoff match

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Alliance/Legacy roundup: Local squads fare well over the weekend

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

AYSO roundup: Davis teams capture Fog Classic crowns

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Pro baseball roundup: Giants blank Pads, win fifth straight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10





Sac Ballet presents Modern Masters on May 8-9

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

High school artists exhibited at Pence Gallery

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

See Christian Quintin’s paintings at Hattie Weber Museum

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble returns

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Davis Youth Flute Choir tunes up for China tour

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8







Comics: Wednesday, May 6, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B5